A Parallel Universe Trade Thread Pt. 3 (Clue: DVD Special Edition)

Mr Forst, with his phone, in his Junior GM’s Office.

I’ve been futilely engaging in parallel universe trade threads for over three years now, and they’re my favorite thing for a few reasons.

  1. I like sci-fi.
  2. I like trading your favorite major league players.

Now I usually prefer to post one of these after the off-season formally concludes, because that way you can see what moves actually got made by other teams and can analyze needs and value rather than speculate. But because I enjoy all that ridicule, I figure I’d guesstimate even more, get more things wrong, and allow childlike wonderment to reign supreme.

Let’s start this daisy chain of events with a simple one:

Kendall Graveman for Travis Jankowski and Jacob Nix

Analysis: I originally poo pooed this idea earlier in the year because I wasn’t sure Graveman was the best match in SD, but the more I think about it, SD is used to acquiring our good young pitchers and making them better so why not Kendall. TJ is a half point better WAR-wise than Kendall, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Also, with Hunter Renfroe and Manny Margot coming up for them, the Padres are on the cusp of a serious logjam. Especially, if they resign Jon Jay.

Jankowski (and I’m the original TJ fanboy on ths site) fills that gaping OF hole (are you turned on yet?). And it addresses two of our biggest weaknesses: defense and baserunning (in both of which he is elite). He’s also did these boner inducing things last year:

Boner 1, 2, 3, and 4.

But what if we go bigger? Let’s contact the rumor mill to see where we could dig in.

Atlanta wants to upgrade in the catcher department and find someone to pair with Tyler Flowers. How about someone who’s still pretty cheap (because it’s Atlanta), is a leader, and comes with a decent amount of clout (2 all-star nods)? How about Stephen Vogt?

Stephen Vogt, Kendall Graveman, Ryan Madson, Grant Holmes, Dillon Overton for Arodys Vizcaino, Ender Inciarte, Travis Demeritte, and Nick Markakis.

Couple things work here: Atlanta, could pay a little bit back to the state they stole another stadium from and sign Georgia Boy Josh Reddick to replace Markakis.

We’d buy (sorta) low on Vizcaino who had shoulder issues and finished with an ERA over 4. There are serious concerns, but he’s coming of an elite 2015 season. Install him in the back of the bullpen, and hell, maybe trade him mid-season for a bundle of prospects you can tailor to the organization's current needs.

Between Markakis and Inciarte we fix our outfield problem.

Losing Holmes sucks, but Atlanta has been pathological in their need to acquire as many pitching prospects as possible. And I find him the most expendable and the least exciting.

Overton gives them a warm body for their rotation on top of KG, and frees up a 40 man spot for us.

Maybe most important of all: the money equals out eerily perfect when you add it all up (Vogt plus Madson equals Markakis).

Then there’s my favorite reality. Because it’s the craziest, what if we do both?

After completing the same trade above with the Braves, Gravemanless, we offer this to the Padres:

Marcus Semien and Renato Nunez for Travis Jankowski, Brad Hand, and Jacob Nix.

Padres have been looking for some kind of stability at SS for eons now and this would give them that.(Javier Guerra is still a ways out). Both Semien and TJ profile similarly in they have possess a few elite skills while the rest is dramatically below average. I’ll trade Semien’s power for TJs defense.

Brad Hand also gives us a swing option in the rotation or bullpen. Not a needle mover though.

After this one and after realizing SS is a blackhole only Chad Pinder could fill (this is not an uncommon sex dream), we trade:

Jesse Hahn and Dakota Chalmers to the Reds for Zack Cozart

Not sure how the Reds will value ZC. He’s only got one year left and is coming off a pretty nasty knee injury. I’m guessing they’ll take a few pitchers and be happy, but it’s a wild guess.

Would happily throw in Pinder, but with Jose Peraza and Ivan DeJesus, I’m not sure the Reds even need a replacement SS coming back.

On top of any of these moves, I’d advocate for a few extra small ones.

I’d sign Ivan Nova to a two-year deal (Kazmir contract numbers). Not because two years is ideal, but because I think it’ll take that to get it done. Throw an extra half million more than the Dodgers and sign Chase Utley with the real promise of playing time. Utley would hold the fort down for Franklin Barreto (who we could give all Summer to learn 2B) and maybe give him some pointers along the way (veteran presents). I’d sign a few more pitchers to minor league deals: Henderson Alvarez (because he owes us as much), Tommy Milone, etc…

My irrational dream signing is Kenley Jansen for an exorbitant amount of money. Because a) I think that contract is moveable in the first three years and b) a bullpen of Vizcaino/Doolittle/Jansen/Montas would be the things of legends and would actually take even more stress of the young core of pitchers we’re developing next year (Mengden, Cotton, and Manaea). So f*** it, I’m including it.

But what have we done here? We’ve over-corrected our huge OF issue with Jankowski, Inciarte, and Markakis. But, why not? Injuries happen, and instead of barely fixing something, we drive a stake through the heart of the problem, burn the body, and feed the ashes to John Jaha. But also because unlike other problem areas, there are no immediate reinforcements on the way in the form of prospects (except Brugman, who at this point should just wear a jersey with the number question mark).

It also allows us to save money in other areas. We can safely non-tender Yonder Alonso and Danny Valencia if you want (although I’m for keeping DV).

It puts Khrush at DH a lot more, and keeps his crappy arm out of the game.

We’ve filled our MI with veterans with very strong defensive numbers on one year contracts who won’t prohibit us from calling up Barreto or Martin if they’re ready.

It allows us to put Nick Markakis at 1B for a few games, which I just think is funny for the sadistic value.

My 2017 parallel universe team is

Against RHP:

  1. Inciarte CF
  2. Markakis RF
  3. Healy 3B
  4. Davis DH
  5. Utley 2B
  6. Valencia 1B
  7. Maxwell C
  8. Cozart SS
  9. Jankowski LF

Bench: Phegley, Smolinski, Ladendorf (this generation’s Willie Harris), and Lowrie.

Against LHP

  1. Smolinski - LF
  2. Lowrie - 2B
  3. Healy - 3B
  4. Davis - DH
  5. Valencia - 1B
  6. Phegley - C
  7. Markakis - RF
  8. Cozart - SS
  9. Inciarte - CF

Khrush could play maybe 20-30 games in the field with Markakis playing 1B once and a while and giving Inciarte a couple days off here and there against righties and putting Smolinski in CF and Davis in LF.

Starting pitching:

  1. Sonny Gray
  2. Ivan Nova
  3. Sean Manaea
  4. Jharel Cotton
  5. Mengden or Hand or Triggs or Neal or Alcantara or Montas or Minor League Contract Flyer Guy or Me.

And our Bullpen would look something like this: